Blizzard warnings in Seattle? No, but it sure looked that way
News of an impeding wind event has been prevalent for a few days, but a blizzard?
We had reports from several people around the Puget Sound area that their cell phones and computers chirped (or in some cases, blared) to life Sunday afternoon with ominous alerts of a blizzard warning issued for their area.
The blizzard warning is real, but unless you live in the mountains, it was not for "their area."
The National Weather Service issued a very rare blizzard warning for the central Cascades and Olympics from 6 p.m. Sunday through 6 p.m Monday. It's a very serious situation and that urgent level of weather warning meets criteria for alerts to get sent out.
However, many times those text alerts are county-based. It works well in the Midwest and South when, for example, a tornado warning or flash flood warning issued for a county requires everyone in the county to take note.
But here, our counties span metro areas and mountainous areas. King County houses Seattle and Snoqualmie Pass. So when this blizzard warning was issued for the King County portion of the Cascades, it likely got sent out across King County. We also had reports of people in Hoquiam getting the Blizzard Warning meant for the Olympics.
Blizzard warnings are issued when heavy snow is expected in combination with winds over 35 mph. The last one I can remember around here was during the 2008 winter storms (I think it was Dec. 20 in Enumclaw).
In this current case, whiteout conditions are likely across Snoqualmie and Stevens Passes Sunday night into Monday. As for Seattle and the Puget Sound lowlands, we do have the risk of some snow showers late Monday or early Tuesday, especially in the Convergence Zone areas of North Seattle and south Snohomish County.
It certainly won't be a blizzard, but for those around here not used to the snow, it just might seem like it :)